My 100th post.

It’s kind of crazy to me, but yes, this is my 100th post. Sadly enough, I’m practically right where I was in July. There have been changes, sure. Since July (when I thought I knew everything there was to know about ovulation…except what to do when you don’t ovulate at all! Ha) I’ve gone a whole summer in limbo because my TSH was too high, I’ve met with an RE who acknowledged the fact that I don’t ovulate on my own, I’ve been on four rounds of Clomid (one in which I didn’t ovulate), and I’m about to start my first IUI. Still no baby – not even close. Through it all, virtually everyone around me has gotten pregnant, which has never happened in my life before. Apparently the baby boom hits all at once. One day, no one I knew was pregnant…now, literally everyone.

I’m marking my 100th post with a whole lotta nothin’ but some long-winded rambling. It’s been a quiet few days since my crazy appointment. Here’s what’s been on my brain.

1) I haven’t ovulated yet. For the record, I am doing an excellent job this cycle of not thinking much about this cycle. Like, an unheard-of good job. I never google, if I remember to check Fertility Friend it’s a miracle, and the majority of the day, the specifics of my cycle are not on my mind. This is a first, for me. The reason is because of all the other things on this list that are soaking up my brain cells right now. That said, it’s not as if I don’t think about my cycle at all. I do. Today is CD 17, and I have not ovulated yet. Apparently, not even close. And yes, I’m worried. I know it’s still early, but I have been working off a pattern of ovulating every other Clomid round. Right now, I’m on the “other”. It makes no sense, why I would ovulate every other time, but yet, so far, that’s what’s happened. I don’t have ovulation pains, either, like I think I did last time right about now. Last time, I ovulated on CD 18. The time before that, CD 24.

I am going in for the IUI, and that’s the other reason why I’m a bit nervous about this ovulation. Once I finally made the decision to go IUI – now I’m just excited for it. It can’t possibly hurt my chances, only help. We will still be timing our BDing around my OPK’s smiley face, so I’m anxious about that, too. I want N’s sperm count to be a high one when we go in for the IUI, which means to keep to the every-other-day type of thing. Problem is, I have no idea when ovulation is coming, and so…the timing is difficult, let’s put it that way. However, unlike last time, where we were at it on a daily basis for almost a week to cover our timing, this time I’m less stressed about it. We have the IUI. Any other times are just icing on the cake.

2) My hives and my thyroid are, as you know, out of control. But I’m making progress. Whenever my hives are really bad, my TSH goes up – that’s been a pattern the last few years. I don’t know which one causes which, but either way, it’s all autoimmune related. I went and got my blood done for my TSH last week. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the best idea for my mental health. If it’s too high, I’m going to be told this cycle is cancelled, and subsequent cycles after that until it’s back down – and while I logically understand why that’s important, I’d be devastated. I want this IUI, now!!

Tied to my hives is my newfangled “diet”..which leads me to #3.

3) After much consideration, I’ve decided to attempt to alleviate my hives by going on a crazy diet. N is in with me, because he’s training for an Ironman and wants to lose weight. We are going to follow a sort of “Paleo Diet”, with a few exceptions. First of all, if you don’t know, the Paleo Diet basically allows you to eat anything that a caveman would’ve been able to. Some people go crazy with like, raw foods, but we’re not doing that. We can eat all vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and even an occasional sweet potato. One of the reasons I picked this diet is because I need to eliminate a lot of foods from what I eat on a regular basis; that much has already been established. Instead of telling myself I can’t eat this food or that food, I am coming at it from another angle. That is, these are the foods I can eat, and we’ll see how my hives fare.

I already went gluten-free and low-sugar (mostly sugar-free). However, in addition to all that, I’m going to take away all corn products and go light on fruit, because of the sugar.

Now, here’s the thing. I’m having commitment issues, already. For whatever reason, even though I’m a people-pleaser and a go-getter and whatnot, I do things half-assed. Frequently. When I was younger, and I had to clean or do some chore, my mother would have to check to see how thoroughly I did it when I was done, and many times, I half-assed it. This happens still today – N had to check to see how well I vacuumed the other day. This is comical to me – I hate vacuuming! The same principle applies to my food health. How many times since I started this blog have I “committed” to healthy eating, only to blow it within a week?? At least twice that I can think of.

It’s not like I gorge on donuts and Burger King, though I’d like to. I’ve never eaten that way. The issue is that I have to take more steps to be healthy than most people, and since I’m still pissed off about it, I can’t commit. I want to commit, but I can’t.

Since I started my food log last week, I have already noticed a major decrease in hives. Besides the daily body hives I wake up to, I got hives after eating:

-Tostitos chips

-Peanut butter and banana

-Low-sugar ice cream

-Too many GF and SF carb products in one day

-Too much fruit

Not since starting this food log have I gotten hives from veggies, meats, or non-sugared dairy products, like cheese. This led me to conclude that the Paleo Diet might be a good choice for me. N’s up for it, so all should be well.

But it’s not. First of all, I really don’t know that I want to give up dairy. I don’t drink milk anyway. The only dairy I consume (or used to, at least) is cheese, a daily yogurt, and ice cream, which was my favorite food hands down. Now, I only eat cheese and yogurt. And the yogurt will be no longer, because it’s full of sugar. Even plain Greek yogurt (eew, sour) with two truvia packets in it still has 8 grams of regular sugar. Not vanilla, plain. It’s insane. Yes, I’ve been sitting at my desk after school, pathetically pouring truvia into my yogurt. And no, I’m not making my own yogurt. But small amounts of cheese don’t seem to bother me. I have a daily cheese stick, cheese in my eggs, cheese in my salad….I don’t know. I know cavemen weren’t consuming cheese, but…I think it’s okay. The other food product I’m on the fence about is rice. As it is, I can no longer have pasta, potatoes, white rice, bread, etc. But quinoa and brown rice – I thought those foods would be okay! Well, not to a caveman. Plus, there are numerous studies that claim we humans really weren’t meant to eat processed carbs. Some people feel fine on them, but others don’t.  I seem to feel okay on a small amount of brown rice – and keeping that product around gives me more food choices and when I’m craving carbs, I can have that. I don’t feel too guilty about rice and cheese – those would be my only exceptions to the Paleo Diet.

Even after all of that promising talk, however, I can’t bring myself to fully do it. I do it, meal by meal, if it’s convenient for me. What a lazy ass! Seriously, it’s pathetic. Yesterday, it was convenient for me so I had lots of veggies and protein. Today, I went out to lunch, and had a chicken salad…and some chips. Corn chips. Corn. Why? I feel fine, though. Ask me again in four hours. It’s too hard!

Now there are a lot of you who came out of the woodwork, talking about your specialty diets. They are all a little different but they are all healthy, and they all require commitment. A few have even completed cleansed yourself of those bad foods. Here’s the thing….

…I’m going away, for two nights, in two weeks. Oh, and we also have a wedding to attend that same week. We’re going away to a place where I can relax, read a good book, drink wine water, and eat gluten-free, sugar-free foods. Not gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, corn-free, carb-free. I’m on vacation! Vacations are suppose to be relaxing and fun! Not pathetically depressing!

So I’ve already had the thought, well maybe I can wait until May to do this Paleo thing head-on. I mean I’ll do it now, conveniently. But for real, in May. No – I’m sure I’ll come up with an excuse then! I’m incapable of committing to this. What will I do when I visit my grandfather, who’s wife cooks deliciously rich foods? What about Easter? What about…weekly dinners with my father, who always brings dessert? How do I explain to people who eat “normally”, that I can’t eat virtually anything they make? People don’t understand, they judge, they..tempt me. You can see how much I suck at this. It’s a real problem. I’d love some advice from those of you who have managed this successfully.

4) I finished The Hunger Games series. They were all excellent, though I found myself more interested in the love story than the rest of the plot. I did see the first movie, and I want to see it again. I’ve formed a sort of virtual attachment to Peeta, both in the book and on the big screen, which is pathetic, because he  is only 19. God. When did I get old? I’m 27, so I know that’s not really old, but I feel 20. 20 and married, with a job and two dogs. But 20. I look 20, as well. If I’m going to have a celebrity crush, it should really be on someone my age or older, but I find myself drawn to people in their lower 20’s. I think, without children, I don’t feel any older than 20, and we don’t exactly act older than 20, either. Maybe that will all change when I am a mother. So what can I say? I like Peeta, played by 19-year old Josh Hutcherson. I’m a total creeper. For the record, my other celebrity crush is a few years older than me, Henry Cavill, Jonathan Rhys Meyer’s right hand man on The Tudors. But he also has a very young face. N has his own celebrity crushes, so maybe we both live in a dream world. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who celebrity crushes on someone younger than they are? Anyone?

5) And finally, I want to write a book. I have always wanted to write, and when I was in seventh grade, I spent a whole summer filling notebooks with a book I started and never finished. I think I told you about that once, where myself and N and all our friends all lived in the same neighborhood and all dated each other and then I got cancer, had a baby with N so he could remember me, and died. But seriously, one little dream of mine has always been to write and publish a book. I’m good at the realistic fiction thing, too. Problem is – I can’t wrap my mind around a good enough plot that would sell! Nowadays, books need to have some type of twist. I started with a little outline over the weekend, but it doesn’t have that twist. I’m back to square one.

All of these things I’ve mentioned are on my brain most hours of the day. I’m overloading myself, as usual. It would be nice if I could go a few days without actually thinking anything. But that’s impossible.

Pat yourself on the back for having made it to the end of this post without falling asleep or giving up. It sure was a ramble. Hopefully, 100 posts from now, I won’t have to ramble on and on because I’ll have something truly wonderful to talk about..the miracle of a pregnancy. Here’s hoping.

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6 DPO…

…and I’m doing okay! After last Monday, when I didn’t have work but my husband did and I spent all day obsessing over Google, I stopped that quickly the next day. In fact, I haven’t used Google for pregnancy-related things all week. Work keeps me busy. Now that the weekend is here again, I’ve got a few things on my mind. I figured I’d pick your brains about them.

1) This past week and the next one don’t have much going on with me in fertility-land. There’s really nothing new to tell. Yet, I love to blog, and I think about posting often. I’m just not sure what to say. This leads me to a question:

What do I really want from my blog?  Well, since the day I created it last summer, I really wanted it to be a place to house various information about getting pregnant and being pregnant. I wanted it to eventually become a place where people could click on a category to learn information to help themselves. I had always found all the information I wanted in a thousand different places, and I thought this would be helpful. Here’s the problem: I don’t know anything about pregnancy, obviously, and I am clearly not the expert on any topic enough to be the holder of all that information. Plus, as TTC turned out to be a giant project, I ended up needing to vent and went looking for support, which I found. It was very helpful, and I still want that from my blog. But I also want more from it. I just have no idea what exactly to do, and how to do it.

I mean, there are other areas of my life in which I have information to share – recipes for gluten-free foods, exercise tips, thyroid-issues, great books I’ve read, life with two rescue dogs, teacher stories. Everyone has other interests. Do you ever want to blog about those things? And if I started doing that here, wouldn’t that kind of change the tone of this whole blog – perhaps making other people less likely to read it? Have these thoughts crossed any of your minds?

I know a lot of you have these posts based on certain days of the week (Thankful Thursday, for example). I like those! What are the different topics you use?

A lot of people have very successful blogs. I do want to have a blog that really gets out there. I’m just not sure what I want IN my blog – I want to keep what I have, but sometimes I think I need to have more to talk about. I’d like to have more to talk about.

2) I have a small house. I just spent a little while checking out pinterest (my first time) and there are such beautiful and creative house projects that can be done. I especially like all the ways you can use old window frames, or pieces of wood. I love that old-fashioned look. Here’s the thing – my house is a small cape. It’s filled with stuff. I don’t have much wall space. There is no room for all of the cool things I saw on that site. And this weekend I’m in the mood for a DIY cool project for my house. But they all require a lot of space.

So, if you have a smaller home with little to no wall space, or extra closets, or large bathrooms, what little crafty/organizational project have you done that was totally worth it?

3) You know what all of this is – this is my mind trying to forget about the TWW. I’m bored, mentally. How many times can I look at my Fertility Friend chart, after all? 6 DPO. I plan to test a week from tomorrow. Yippee!

The Torturous TWW

So I did officially ovulate, which is wonderful. I had my CD 21 blood drawn, except it was on CD 24…close enough. The head nurse to my RE called and said, “Well, you definitely ovulated.” I don’t know how definitely factors into it – I figured it was a “yes, you did” or “no, you didn’t” kind of thing, but my numbers must have been high. I looked at what they were testing me for – estradiol, progesterone, and LH.

All in all, it was a decently stressful, or at least high-anxiety weekend. I ovulated for the first time, possibly ever, and I knew how short the window of opportunity was. I can see how getting lost in the details of that can overshadow the whole reason you’re doing it in the first place. I just kept thinking, we need to do this, we need to do this. It was basically all that was on my brain. Like I said in my last post, in the end, the timing wasn’t perfect – it wasn’t completely ideal. However, it wasn’t horrible, and I’m still not exactly sure when I actually ovulated. If this does go on to next cycle, my mission will be to put the fun back in baby-making. I’ll chalk all this up to it being round 1, but that’s all I’m allowed.

A couple of people asked me about my specific chart, so I decided to post it here and get all of your two cents on it:

As you can see, Fertility Friend didn’t even specify ovulation date yet, or show me a coverline. However, if I remember my facts correctly, you ovulate usually on the last low day before the temp spike, right? So in that case, I would’ve ovulated on CD 24, which was Sunday. I’m guessing Saturday was the key day, and we missed that one, but I’m not going to panic over it.

I’m not all that impressed with the temperatures on my chart. I assumed my spike would’ve been a bit higher. However, I know that I absolutely did ovulate, so I’m going to go with that.

Never did I think, years or even months ago, that I’d be putting the personal details of my life (through my chart, or even my blog for that matter) on the internet for all the world to see. When you want to have a child so badly, that modest thinking seems to go out the window. Or at least it does for me.

So as I’m officially in the TWW, yesterday I did what I assume most crazed TWW-ers do – I googled everything under the sun. And I mean everything. I read every article and every post on every topic related to finding out about being pregnant. I found this website, designed to keep my mind busy with other people’s successes in the TWW, and this one, all about pregnancy tests and OPKs. I looked at other people’s charts on FF. Sometimes I felt better, sometimes I felt worse.

What I discovered was this: I can’t do that. It’s bad for my mental health. It’s just not a good idea! Luckily, I went back to work today, and my mind was kept busy on that. I imagine I’ll be pretty good up until this coming weekend, when I find myself having more free time. I basically can’t stop myself from researching and scouring the internet unless my brain is somewhere else. So, I’ve just started looking at pinterest – though I have no idea how it works. I have a book that needs finishing. I could always do some planning for work. I think I need a new hobby. Of course, blogging is my favorite new hobby, but when I blog, that means I’m thinking about it. So that doesn’t help.

I’m only two days past ovulation (DPO). I’ve got to get all the way to 14 DPO. On that day, I’m allowed to call my head nurse, and she’ll do the blood pregnancy test (and I’ll do my own). I’m not sure I can hold off on POAS until 14 DPO…..but I’ll try.